What is wrong with my girlfriends 03 VW Jetta? (happened when a radiator hose connector blew)

Asked by Dec 13, 2014 at 10:43 PM about the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

03 VW Jetta 2.0L Assumed to have started over heating but caused a connector to
break and blow fluid throughout the engine compartment.found traces of the red fluid on
the filter and havent checked to see if it made it into the engine. doesnt look like there
was much moisture if any on a towel i wiped inside the air filter hose. oil seems low but
doesnt appear or smell like any other fluids are in it. Recharged the battery after it died
from the flashers, after being jumped it wont do more than turn over once if im lucky.
Black carbon is now on the snow at the end of the tail pipe. The second or third time I
tried starting the jetta it also broke the plastic around the airfilters housing where it
screwed down. any help on this is much appretiated and no it doesnt seem like the
head is warped.

15 Answers


preaty sure i already answered this question, but my best guess would be if your radiator hose broke then something was likely cloged or your hoses were really dry and cracked. Vw and audis run the cars under a high pressure system for both radiator and other fluids sicne vw and audi are closed system engines. Where did the hose break ? cause you may have blew out a sensor with the hose and as for black smoke in the snow this would mean you got something in the cylinders more then likely your antifreeze blew out a wall in your head and flooded your cylinders . best way to find out is take out all the spark plugs and stick a long rod down in and see if you get anti freeze on it. you can also drop the oil out of it and if it has anti freeze in that or it is super watery can mean the same thing. at best your probley looking at an engine replacement.

The carbon had been blowing out earlier (I'm the girlfriend) I have a bad catalytic converter so I've been running a little rich. The hose looked pretty old when we went to replace it. The hose that broke was a piece that connected 4 hoses, what censor would have been blown out? If there is fluid would I see moisture on the spark plugs? If so then I dont think there is anything in there because when we checked the spark there wasn't any moisture. The car has been sitting outside in freezing temperatures for the last week since I don't have a garage, could it be that it's just to cold to want to start?

Also no antifreeze in the oil and no oil in the antifreeze so that tells me it's not a cracked head gasket


ok this is good so far then no anti freeze in the engine means the engine did not blow a seal before it blew your hose. i been looking around a bit and aparently that hose line is very popular for blowing out. check out all the moduals and wireing around the area the hoses blew out and then i also noticed there was a mention of a cracked ait filter houseing. If you can put some duct tap over it or go and get the good ruber cement from the local hardware or car store to fix it. a lack of proper air preasure can cause hte engine not to start as well which is anouther reason why. When you pulled the plugs how black were they ? if your running rich your cars system is working twice as hard for the same power so replace that cat repalce it with a used one from the junk yard if you have to but get it replaced before it fills your engine with to much carbon deposits as im sure at this point your system is probly cloged with them already. Clean your maf sensor and plugs with the maf cleaner and keep an eye out for any other damaged or filled up connectors with the anti freeze that you can. open and check all connectors for it that are turned up.

The plugs werent very black. Just looked like what you would expected old spark plugs to look like and we cleaned them off before putting them back in. I'm getting a new airfilter, luckily when the casing broke it broke one side but not the other so I still have half of the clamps for it. I'm thinking some electrical stuff probably did get wet since the hose that blew sprayed everywhere. I try and start the car and it cranks and tries to start but just won't quite get there


thats what im thinking of as well. At this point we have to start narrowing things down and see what we do have and what we don't have. So from the top start checking all your vacum lines. any lines full of water drain them any cracked or missing the mesh overlay replace them. After that check for spark but you said you did and you have it so that is not hte issue. Next is air. Check all the intake system take off to the throtale body and check it for water or antifreeze stuck in it. also clean it while your down that far and check all the air lines to it for sludge. If thats clean check for fuel pressure and or gas in the cyclinders by taking out hte plugs cranking hte engine and then sticks a rod or stick into the cyclinder or smelling hte hole for a fuel smell.


also get it into a warm place and try to start it

So we checked all the spark plugs and there is spark. Also checked inside the cylinders and there was no fluid in there. We did an oil change to make sure no antifreeze was in the oil and the oil was clean. Well as clean as oil would be after 3000 miles. My boyfriend was able to get the car to start for a second but the it dies right away

Also wiped out the intake and took a hair dryer to the car to try and warm it up and dry it out


:P if the car has a block heater just plug it in. any rate try reading the codes on your car if you can. there is some tools you can use with a usb plugin and a laptop for the car that is more accurate then a obd reader. a local vw/audi specialist can read the codes and tell you what is lit up as well. i would try this next. software is free you just gotta order a cable. http://www.ross-tech.com/ is the software site. as for the cable just google search "vag com cable" and you can diagnose all your cars relays and computer systems from home.

Ok got the car to run without dieing. But it's making this clicking noise and its running a little rough. I wouldn't expect it to run like new since it has been sitting in single degree weather for about 3 weeks. But the clicking is pretty loud and gets faster when I give it gas.


your heads are dry and its not getting oil don't try and keep it running or you risk striping the valves and cams. Check your oil and oilpump and make ssure its working. Oil level first would be a good place to start

1 people found this helpful.

oil level is good, just replaced the oil and oil filter so it has nice clean oil. how do you check the oil pump? im trying to get it to where i can atelast drive it to the mechanic which is about 15 miles from me.


to check the oil pump you would need to drop the oil pan. try this .. dump some oil in the oil filler area then turn the car over. It should tick for a few moments then go away. if it comes back it means your oil is most defiantly not making it to the head which would be why the heating system over heated and blew out your hose. if this is the case you will need a tow. while the engine is running and idling leave the oil cap off and keep an eye on down the hole. you should be able to see peices of the cam and lifters. Watch for oil splashing around while its running is your other way of checking this.

well let it sit for a bit since i havnt been able to be working on it this week and now im back to it not starting. brought the battery in to let it warm up and charge and tried starting the car last night and it tries and tries but just wont start. i smell gas when trying to start it

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Jetta in your area?

CarGurus has 28,562 nationwide Jetta listings starting at $1,050.


Volkswagen Jetta Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volkswagen Passat
446 Great Deals out of 22,692 listings starting at $499
Used Honda Civic
469 Great Deals out of 44,227 listings starting at $1,150
Used Volkswagen GTI
79 Great Deals out of 5,258 listings starting at $2,500
Used Honda Accord
703 Great Deals out of 102,793 listings starting at $849
Used Volkswagen Golf
63 Great Deals out of 4,689 listings starting at $1,700
Used Toyota Camry
865 Great Deals out of 71,351 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Corolla
739 Great Deals out of 63,429 listings starting at $1,495
Used BMW 3 Series
1,060 Great Deals out of 29,964 listings starting at $900
Used Audi A4
177 Great Deals out of 9,424 listings starting at $1,400
Used Nissan Altima
866 Great Deals out of 61,323 listings starting at $1,000
Used Mazda MAZDA3
224 Great Deals out of 23,493 listings starting at $100
Used Hyundai Elantra
456 Great Deals out of 46,731 listings starting at $1,700

Used Cars For Sale

2019 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
9,945 listings starting at $14,452
2018 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 2,587 listings starting at $13,760
2017 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
59 Great Deals out of 2,097 listings starting at $8,950
2016 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
36 Great Deals out of 1,679 listings starting at $6,995
2015 Volkswagen Jetta For Sale
111 Great Deals out of 3,682 listings starting at $6,497

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.